The prospect of Peters being dubbed Sir Winston is raised – but maybe he would rather plan another comeback

So  who  will   head  up  the New  Year’s honours list?  Speculation  in the  Wellington  Beltway has  centred  on whether  it will  feature Winston Peters.

On  one  side  there  are those  who contend his long career in politics  culminating in his term as deputy Prime Minister  should be recognised with a  knighthood.  Others  ridicule  the  idea.  There  is,  too,  all   that  mysterious finanacial business involving  the NZ First Foundation, which somehow bypassed the attention of the NZ First leader.

Besides, there  is a  school which contends politics  runs  so strongly  in his blood  he  can’t  resist  thinking  of a  comeback. Continue reading “The prospect of Peters being dubbed Sir Winston is raised – but maybe he would rather plan another comeback”

Inglorious history can teach us about heroism

We prefer our heroes untarnished.  And few match the heroism of Winston Churchill.  But a recent report in the Times reminds us of the inevitability of human frailty and the consequences of keeping it under wraps.

During the second world war, Britain’s greatest single loss of life at sea was the sinking on 8 June 1940 of the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious and her escorting destroyers Ardent and Acasta as they returned home from a failed expedition to Norway.  There were 40 survivors from 1,559 crewmen. Continue reading “Inglorious history can teach us about heroism”

If you aspire to a place on the Honours List, we suggest you eschew science and take up sport

The Queen’s Birthday Honours list further attests to our having a government that has a greater regard for sport than for science.  Or does this reflect a societal indifference to science and scientists?

One measure of this is a press statement released by  Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation.

She has congratulated Professor Charles Eason on his appointment to the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

There are no other scientists to congratulate.

Professor Eason is an accomplished scientist, currently the Chief Executive of the Cawthron Institute.

“In 2017 he was awarded the Thomson Medal by Royal Society Te Apārangi for outstanding leadership in his research career and for his achievements as head of the Cawthron Institute,” Megan Woods said.

“Professor Eason’s science speciality is toxicology, particularly in relation to drugs and natural compounds. He has recently been involved in the development of new drugs derived from marine algae with European pharmaceutical companies.  Continue reading “If you aspire to a place on the Honours List, we suggest you eschew science and take up sport”